Thursday, October 19, 2017

A tribute to clear writing

The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.
~Michel de Montaigne

A painting from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore today. (Just the one! Every once in a while I keep it to a solitary work.) Love these rich colors!

Allegory of Grammar
by Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656)

The Walters explains:
The importance of the intellect was often celebrated in representations of the Seven Liberal Arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and Music.

This personification of the liberal art of Grammar is engaged in an activity to show how ideas impact real life. To demonstrate how important grammar and clear writing are in making ideas "bloom," the artist metaphorically represents Grammar watering two pots of flowers. Over her arm is a scroll bearing an ancient definition of grammar in Latin: "A literate tongue, spoken in the required manner."

One more grammar quote:

I love you. You are the object of my affection and the object of my sentence.
~Mignon Fogarty

1 comment:

HWY said...

Another surprise: grammar as the theme of Art Thursday! Love it.

Wonderful painting and a nice description of its meaning.

I'm glad you included the "ancient definition of grammar" because it shows grammar in a larger context, and not just mistakes in word usage pointed out by the "grammar police" (which is how it is often used).

Today grammar is better defined as: "the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics."

I'll get off my soapbox now. ;-)